Understanding Insurance Claims

Three Questions You Should Ask When Shopping For Classic Car Insurance

Classic cars—vehicles 15 years or older typically fall into this category—must be insured like any other car or truck before they can be driven on public roads. However, to fully protect the vehicle's value, its important to get classic car insurance rather than a regular policy. To ensure you get one that fits your needs and preferences, here are three questions to ask the insurance company while shopping around.

How Do They Determine the Agreed-Upon Value?

Regular insurance policies base a car's market value on the list price in Kelly Blue Book and similar industry price determinants. However, classic cars literally age out of these publications. The values listed are based on depreciation, so older vehicles are typically listed as being worth less than their true market value, if they're listed at all.

As a result, you must opt for a different type of insurance, called an "Agreed Upon" policy. With this type of policy, you and the insurance company determine what the value of the vehicle is, and that's the amount the company will pay you if the vehicle is totaled in an accident or stolen.

It's important to ask how the agreed-upon value is determined, because the method will affect your coverage. For instance, some companies will accept appraisals from experts in the field, while others will look at auction records to come up with a maximum coverage amount. The value of your classic car can differ wildly between just these two resources, so you want to be sure the insurance company accepts the method that provides you with the maximum amount of coverage possible.

Most customer service agents will let you know if you ask. You may also be able to find the information on the company's website. You should also conduct your own research to determine if the company's valuation method accurately reflects what your car is really worth.

Is There a Mileage Limit?

Classic car insurance is generally cheaper than a regular policy because insurance companies expect these vehicles to primarily be ornamental. They don't expect people to drive them much, which reduces risk of anyone getting into an accident with them. Based on this belief, the insurance company may put a mileage limit clause in your policy restricting you to a set number of miles driven annually.

For instance, it's not unusual for policies to limit classic car drivers to 2,500 miles per year in the vehicle. And to ensure the policyholder is sticking to the agreement, the provider may require them to submit odometer readings on a periodic basis. If you go over the mileage ceiling, you may lose coverage or be charged an additional amount.

If you plan on using your classic car regularly, it's best to look for a policy that doesn't have this restriction or, at least, that has a limit that matches your expected usage.

Will the Company Help Track Down Parts?

Classic cars don't use normal parts. They use special ones that must be acquired from junkyards or specialty dealers. Because of how challenging it can be to obtain parts for classic cars, some insurance companies will actually use their network to help track down replacement parts for the damaged vehicle. This can save you a lot of aggravation and money and help you restore your car faster.

Unfortunately, not all insurance companies offer this service, so it's essential that you ask upfront so you know what kind of assistance you can expect.

For more information about classic car insurance or to obtain a rate quote for your vehicle, contact an auto insurance company or check out websites like http://www.denverautoinsurancecompany.com to learn more about your auto insurance options.